Cycling The Pacific Coast Daily Travels

Daily Travels: Fort Ebey State Park, WA to Quilcene Campground, WA

The Ride

Route: Highway 20, Fort Casey Road, FERRY, Highway 20, Highway 101

Distance: ~65km/40mi [Stopped Early To See An Old Friend]

Weather: Dense Morning Fog Eventually Lifted To Reveal An Absolute Beauty Afternoon [~25 and Sunny]

Terrain: Rolling Hills With Water and Olympic National Park’s Mountains Frequently In View

Total Climbing: ~450m/1475ft

The Rest

Breakfast: Oatmeal [with cinnamon, almonds & pecans]

Lunch: Two Clif Bars

Dinner: Olympic Timberhouse for a restaurant-cooked meal

Snacks: Dreaming of Dinner Later In The Da

Beverages: Water, Two Refreshing Beers

Previous Night’s Sleep: 8:30pm to 6:30pm [10 much-needed hours]

Previous Night’s Accommodation: Fort Ebey State Park

Money Spent: $4 for the Coupeville-Port Townsend Ferry

[Free Dinner Courtesy of an Old Friend, Found Free Camping in Quilcene]

Sort-Of Quick Hits From A Spectacular Day:

  • I turned a corner physically on this fourth day of riding. I felt less sore all over, and I noticed deeper breaths and fewer curses on every climb. I could have pushed on for longer, but, I’d already planned a catch-up with an old friend. Speaking of…
  • Familiar faces in unfamiliar places. I ended my day of riding a few hours early to meet up with a friend travelling from Seattle. I’ve learned that I love these long-distance challenges. But, ultimately and inevitably, I feel pulled to return to the world I know. Scenes of natural beauty and serene wilderness always connect. Meaningful and memorable encounters with unfamiliar faces always connect, too [Speaking of… read below for more]. But, man, no place feels the same as it does in the presence of family and friends. I embrace these solo challenges, in part, because I treasure reminders of my fortunes and connections elsewhere.
  • Riding solo often offers a sense of vulnerability and openness that invites conversation from strangers. I love these encounters. Today, I was gifted a memorable one with a bushy-bearded, well-creased local. I was standing in the shade of a general store, chomping on a Clif bar. He gave me the curious side-stare that many other people do when my bike and I catch their eye. Then, as some people do, he sauntered over and asked about my get-up. As he hand-rolled his cigarette and smoked casually, we exchanged questions and stories. After I shared my experiences of cycle touring, he opened up on his life in the region. He worked more and traveled less than he’d desired. Before we wished each other well, he imparted wise words on my fortunate position, emboldening my spirit to keep following this strange adventure. Seems a worthy way to finish this thought:

“Not enough people follow through on their dreams. There are always sacrifices. Always sacrifices. You gotta get up early in the morning to catch a fish, ya know? And, even then, you might not catch a fish. You caught yourself a fish, man. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

  • Oh, turns out the bushy-bearded, aging, cigarette-smoking man is a painter. A good one. He had a load of card-sized artwork in his trunk. Every piece depicted a local landscape. My favourite style. Meant to be, I guess. After ruffling through for several minutes, he gifted two of his favourites and politely insisted I don’t pay the usual fee. As a compromise, we settled on a two-for-one deal. A memorable encounter, for certain. Before we parted ways, finally, we exchanged names.

Picture of the Day

Riding beyond the entrance to Olympic National Park. A beautiful piece of west-coast wilderness.

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